How to Manage Conflict at home

Managing conflict when we are all locked in the same house or even the same room can be, to say the least, challenging.

Check out my Top Tips for how to avoid committing murder…ahem I mean getting along with your loved ones!

We can refer to a business model here which has long been applied to leadership management. Since it utilises the human conflict management styles though, we can easily apply it and use some styles to help manage others.

Negative Styles

1. Competing with each other

Maybe for the first time, we are faced with personalities who are naturally competitive and find themselves without a conflict to fight.

So they make one!

Photo by Vera Arsic on

Look for continuous and pointless arguments that don’t seem to achieve anything between two or more members of the household. you will more than likely have identified your competitors!

2. Avoiding conflict

I am guilty of this. I hate conflict especially within my family group and will avoid it at all costs. I’m that person who all of a sudden desperately needs the loo or has an important call to make when disagreements arise in my house.

Photo by Min An on

3. Accomodating

Much like avoiding, this occurs when we accept and “give in” to the wants and needs of others for an easy life. It can leave the person doing the accommodating feeling rather resentful because they have not had their own needs met.

Positive Styles

We can use the more positive styles to try and bring our households together…

4. Collaboration

This is where everyone works together to try and come to an agreement. It uses the ideas of everyone and then everyone decides the best way forward. This can help everyone to feel that their needs and ideas have been heard

5. Comprimise

This is where everyone accepts that they have to give up a little bit of what they want to gain something. Again, if everyone is agreed on the compromises, they all feel like they are getting something out of it

The way forward…

Look at the ways in which your household is settling conflict at the moment and think about how you can incorporate some of the more effective ways of solving conflict…

  • encourage competitive types to use their skills to come up with the best solution and present it to the group
  • make sure that avoiding types and compromisers are happy with the decision by asking their opinion and allowing them time to put their ideas forward
  • try presenting the conflict issue as if it were a problem to be solved at work or at school and give everyone a fair chance to try and solve the problem
  • try fun ways to solve problems like taking it in turns to make decisions for 24 hours each and all others must follow them

If all else fails… remember a murder charge is for life, not just for Lockdown!

Sarah Terry is a School Counsellor and Author who works in Central England. Her interests include Counselling and Psychology, Personality Types, Jogging and Yoga and Meditation. Find out more here

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